Journal article Open Access

The real world structure of biodiversity illustrated by the biogeography and systematics of some plants, lizards, birds, and dragonflies

Grehan, J.

Examples are drawn from regional animal and plant distributions to show how distributions of taxa are spatially correlated with tectonic structures of the Earth. Spatial correlations of distributions with Earth's tectonics are illustrated for the Jurassic Lebombo-Mwenetzi monocline, the plate boundary between Indo-Australia and the Pacific, and the East Pacific Rise. These examples illustrate how biodiversity has a coherent spatial and phylogenetic structure that is not confined to the biological composition of organisms alone. This tectonic relationship is evidence for the global structure of biodiversity being directly derived from the geography of ancestral distributions in the Mesozoic, and shows how some distributional boundaries have remained geographically stable for tens of millions of years. The spatial and tectonic correlations show that biodiversity is phylogeny and biogeography that, together with their correlation with global tectonics, makes biodiversity an empirical evolutionary realit

Mesozoic, conservation, evolution, geology, systematics, vicariance
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